There's a new automotive startup in California that's set to take on Tesla and established automakers in the mainstream EV segment.

The startup is Mullen Technologies which in August announced plans to go public via a reverse merger with Nasdaq-listed Net Element, a company that specializes in mobile payment systems for businesses.

On Thursday, Mullen started the conversion of its R&D center in Monrovia, California, into a pilot plant to build a Tesla Model Y rival dubbed the MX-05. Mullen estimates deliveries starting in the second quarter of 2022 (a reveal will take place in 2021).

Mullen also revealed the initial specs for the MX-05 on Thursday, and started accepting reservations for the vehicle on its website. The MX-05 will launch in a special Signature Series grade starting at $55,000. A 36-month lease deal will also be available.

The MX-05 will feature a dual-motor powertrain forming an all-wheel-drive system and delivering enough grunt for 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. Mullen estimates the vehicle's range at 325 miles.

Mullen Dragonfly K50

Mullen Dragonfly K50

Mullen also plans to offer an electric sports called the Dragonfly K50, though timing for this model is unclear. Mullen in 2019 said the sports car would be built at a plant to be constructed in Spokane County, Washington, but in a more recent statement the company said the car would be imported, presumably from China where it is already on sale as the Qiantu K50.

Should all go to plan, Mullen plans to introduce two more models dubbed the MX-03 and MX-07. These are likely to be SUVs positioned above and below the MX-05.